Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
What is a LVAD?
LVAD is a surgically implanted option for patients with advanced heart failure who are not responding to conventional therapies. It is a mechanical pump that assists the heart in pumping blood to the rest of the body.
Who Is a Candidate for LVAD?
Patients who need an LVAD implanted suffer from a severe heart condition that cannot be treated with medicine, such as:
- Heart failure: the heart doesn’t pump as efficiently as it should to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body
- Ventricular arrhythmia: abnormal heart beats within the lower chambers of your heart
- Cardiogenic shock: when the heart is so damaged it is unable to supply enough blood and oxygen to the body’s major organs
These devices are ideal for patients who are not candidates for heart transplant or for those who are awaiting a transplant.
What to Expect
The LVAD is implanted within the chest and connected to the left ventricle of the heart, and the aorta, the main artery that brings blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A very small incision in the abdomen allows a line to connect with the ‘controller’ (a small computer and batteries that run the pump).
The controller is able to sit on a belt or in a shirt pocket. The batteries are rechargeable and options exist to run the pump with electricity at nighttime. Before you go home, the LVAD team will teach you and your family how to use the equipment to make sure you feel comfortable with the device.
Following surgery our cardiac physicians will monitor you and when you are ready, you will begin physical therapy with our cardiac rehabilitation experts.
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Your Care
Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top hospitals in the nation - and the best in New Jersey - for Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery.
Leaders in Care
Jersey Shore University Medical Center offers the only comprehensive heart program in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties and the only LVAD program in the Central/Southern NJ region,
The LVAD program at Hackensack University Medical Center has been approved by the Joint Commission Disease Specific Care program for excellence in Ventricular Assist Device care.
Since receiving LVAD therapy, Legrand says he’s feeling better than he did before he had a heart attack. “I feel good. I breathe better now and don’t get tired like I used to.” - Legrand Castro, Paterson, NJ
Our Cardiology Specialists
The combination of expert surgeons, advanced technology and array of heart care services makes Hackensack Meridian Health a trusted choice for patients and families in New Jersey.